Posted by: April on Mar 30, 2010
There were lots of in character, consistent, noteworthy things that happened in last night's episode, "The Empire Strikes Jack," but I'm still hung up on two things: Elizabeth MotherChuckin' Fisher and the scenes for next week. First things first:
Elizabeth Fisher, Please Die for Real
Chuck learns of Jack, Elizabeth, and Doug the Lawyer's plot when security shows up to forcibly remove him (and his purple housecoat) from Empire. By the time Elizabeth arrives (wobbling unsteadily on her pins because, I don't know, she doesn't know how to move quickly in heels or she's morning drunk), Chuck's dressed and angry, but he gets to be disappointed as well when Elizabeth assures him that she's behind the eviction. Betrayed, Chuck informs Blair, Nate, and Serena that Empire is lost, but he's still holding out hope Jack is blackmailing Elizabeth. Turns out not so: Elizabeth loves Jack so much that she was willing to play her role in the elaborate ruse to wrest Empire from Chuck, only now she maybe feels a bit bad about that because maybe she likes Chuck. I'm not entirely sure because the actress playing Elizabeth really isn't on par with everyone else on the show. The devastation on Ed Westwick's exquisitely expressive face made the scene work anyway (also good: his pea coat. That thing was rockin'). In their third and final scene, Elizabeth tells Chuck that she signed over the Empire to Jack for real and is now fleeing the country to get away from the man she loved so much that she came back from the dead to ruin her son's life in myriad new ways. Chuck heartbreakingly begs his mother to stay for him, so she tells him that she's not even his mother. Sadly, we don't have long to cheer that confirmation before a final phone call between Jack and Elizabeth reveals that yes, she really is Chuck's mom, and she just decided to lie to him some more because she's a truly terrible human being. Anyway, she's off to find herself or some such bullshit.
Writers: give it up. Alive-again Elizabeth is the worst boondoogle on this show since Serena didn't kill a dude. Actually, it's worse. As Emily and others have pointed out, it undoes everything we know about Chuck, his relationship with Bart, and Chuck's character development over the last two years. The only thing that makes it slightly more tolerable is the idea that she's not Evelyn. And you know what, she's not Evelyn. Chuck's mother wouldn't be a meek beige addict who gets pushed around by two different Bassterds, she wouldn't come up with a lie as painful and heinous as "tell him I'm dead," and she wouldn't fall for Jack. Jack's charming, I'll give you that, but not charming enough to convince someone to ruin her son's life a second time. Even though I have no reason to believe that Elizabeth is not Evelyn, I'm sticking by my assessment that she just isn't.
Bright spot in all this occurs at the very end of the episode when Chuck shows up at Blair's dorm room with a face so scary I invite her to check for knives, and they declare war on Jack. YES! Unfortunately, this is completely undone during the previews for the upcoming episode when Jack makes Blair and Chuck an indecent proposal for the return of Empire, and she appears to go through with it. While I don't doubt that Blair would do that for Chuck, I very much doubt that they couldn't come up with a better plan.
I will, however, give the writers points for the way Serena and Nate are consistently and believably brought into the Empire plot. Yet again this week they put their dim heads together for a plan that Jack immediately saw through (perhaps because Chuck tried it on him last year), but good for them for trying. Also, points for Nate for suggesting that the DNA test could have been faked as Jack is that sneaky. He does pay attention!
- Jenny's back in the fashion world, didn't get raped thanks to Nate, and therefore plans to double down on the trying to get laid by Nate plan that she has had since the start of the show.
- Though her wardrobe seemed oddly inspired by Alice in Wonderland, two OLTL alumni showed up to point Blair in the right direction of a) being herself and b) Columbia.
- Gossip Girls lives! Inasmuch as people at Columbia care.
- Dan and Vanessa try to go public at one of Rufus' many brunches, but Nate already blabbed to everyone. Everyone's happy for everyone, but mostly Dan for himself. Also, Vanessa mistakenly thinks that relationship advice from Serena is a good thing.
- Still no sign of Eric.
Seriously. I can believe that this woman, being Jack's lady friend, signs on to his scheme, fools Chuck into believing she's his mom, then feels bad and is like, "I'm out". That makes a modicom of sense. But to have her love this idiot so much that she does all this to her actual son, and then to decide he's a bad person after all and leave, but still screw her son over in the process? What-the f**k-ever. Not to mention how it ruins Bart's whole character.
Also, Serena and Nate being all "how cute!" about Dan and Vanessa? No! They are your exes, it's gross! I can buy Nate litterally forgetting he and Vanessa ever dated though, cause Nate's dumb.
Also, could someone teach Vanessa the difference between "friends with benefits" and "long-term relationship comfort zone"?